Boston Bruins: How Quickly Can Malcolm Subban Climb Up Through The System?

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Boston Bruins: How Quickly Can Malcolm Subban Climb Up Through The System?
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Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens fans are advised to diligently and patiently preserve their thirst for an on-ice Subban brothers’ feud. It ought to happen no later than within the next two and a half years, but most likely will require at least another full season to materialize.

Habs defenseman PK Subban’s backstopping brother, Malcolm Subban, was drafted by the Bruins with the 24th overall pick two weekends ago. Despite the promising prospects for a Tuukka Rask-Anton Khudobin tandem, the Boston front office was shrewd to shore up its stable of goalies in the system.

Subban will not be eligible to assume a position in Providence until the 2014-15 season, but assuming Rask and Khudobin are still intact at the top level by then, Subban ought to be a solid go-to choice for the AHL starting job.

Rarely does one see a player of any position hang around with the same AHL team for more than three, let alone four seasons. Once Subban turns 20 and is eligible for the Triple-A pro level, that is exactly how long presumptive Providence starter Michael Hutchinson will have been in the system, unless he leaves the organization beforehand.

After a little more refinement in the Ontario League, Subban ought to have an opening to a two-way shuttle between the capital cities of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. But even before he scrapes the blue paint at the Dunkin Donuts Center, there is no reason why he could not see slivers of action with the parent club.

Depending on how long each of the next two Belleville Bulls seasons last, Subban could see action in the closing stages of the NHL’s regular season.

In addition, depending on how his development measures up with the likes of Hutchinson and Niklas Svedberg, he could function as a third-stringer in the playoffs the same way Khudobin has over the previous two years.

And there is no guarantee he will even need to utilize the bridge through Providence.

Two seasons equals plenty of time for a change in the outlook on Rask, who is only under contract through 2012-13. The same goes for Khudobin, who has played but seven career NHL regular-season games over three seasons in the Minnesota Wild and Bruins systems.

If Rask and Khudobin live up to their respective expectations, though, Subban’s worst-case scenario should still be one or two seasons almost exclusively spent in the AHL. He certainly ought to be ready for full-time NHL employment no later than the 2016-17 campaign, at which point the circumstances may naturally present a slot for him in Boston.

But Khudobin projects to be an X-factor in his own first full season in The Show. Depending on how he adapts in 2012-13 and 2013-14, the Bruins might just as soon move Subban right along to the role of Rask’s backup without much delay.

Subban does, naturally, have the requisite pedigree to make a splash relatively soon. For the moment, it is on him to make the most of another year or two in the ever-competitive OHL.

Look for that first Subban sidebar in a Bruins-Habs matchup sometime between 2014 and 2016. But don’t rule out the sixth and final installment of the 2012-13 season series at TD Garden next March 27.

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